Europe's energy future: Not black, but centralized

By | June 4, 2013
Or can we still change it to a cheaper, decentralized system?

Energy policy plays a significant role in the affordability and availability of energy in Europe. The question is more of who picks up the bill: I would also agree that the position taken against the import tax on photovoltaics is a bad idea, but I disagree with the reasoning that it will result in more fossil fuel energy production. Rather, the intent is to keep energy production centralized as opposed to decentralizing it – which is good for the energy industry, and bad for consumers.

Germany has already made a commitment to 'Energiewende' or moving to green energy. That means that energy manufacturers need to shift their strategy towards green energy, regardless of whether it is cheap or expensive: Higher prices will only mean that the price burden is transferred towards consumers, while small-scale installations remain not worth the investment for consumers. Thus the net result is centralized energy.

/via +Roland Mösl 

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4 thoughts on “Europe's energy future: Not black, but centralized

  1. Sophie Wrobel

    I must agree with +Simon Baumann here, decentralization should be a key part of a long-term energy strategy, but also agree that there is still a need for central energy pproduction and storage to deal with fluctuations

  2. Roland Mösl

    +Árpád Fekete   While photovoltaic is perfect for decentralised systems, wind is most times far distant from the users.

    For example about 800 km from the North sea to the consumers in South Germany.

  3. Simon Baumann

    Honestly, I think a decentralized system should be the way to go in a long-term strategy. The problems that remain are as you said the investment for consumers as well as storing energy from peaks to be able to use them in times of low production.

    In my opinion the state should currently support end users who want to install renewable energy sources. This will not be always necessary, as I believe steady advances or any real breakthroughs in solar energy will make the investment worth it anyways. However this is currently not the case. 

    But a decentralized system usually has a higher tolerance for failure and will let energy companies focus on storing energy rather than producing it.

    Here in Switzerland we have the good situation that we can store energy in our artificial lakes. This energy can be used whenever need may be. But there's gotta be other sources where energy can be stored for countries that do not have these options (think the Netherlands :))

    In addition to that I find it rather silly that energy corporations are working the same as any other company by trying to maximize their profits, when selling power is the only way they can make profit. So all the attempts of trying to save energy (which is just as important as relying on renewable energy) is actually working against the energy companies goal. So any attempts they make to get their users to save energy can only be somewhat honest. 
    In contrast I believe that at least in California the energy companies are paid by the state, based on certain goals of energy that is supposed to be used. If people use too much energy, the companies get paid less. The user obviously still has to pay for the power they need, but the incentive for companies is to get people to save power and not to consume it. In contrast to the overall power usage of the US, California has kept a steady energy consumption rate per capita over the last 30 – 40 years where as the US in total it has almost doubled.

    Might be an interesting approach in Europe as well…

  4. Roland Mösl

    We have to see here where central and decentral systems have advantages.

    Day/night balancing is best done decentralized. Store in batteries before feed into the grid.

    Complete different is the situation at summer/winter balancing. At the excess electric power to methane cycle have large central systems a big advantage.


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